Saturday, January 14, 2012

Outta Balance. Outta Control.

The year:  2007.

Little did I know
this would be the beginning of my metamorphosis.
Slowly, a new life began to unfold,
like the wings of a butterfly.

Life took on a whole new importance,
a new meaning.
The sky was bluer. 
Oceans more brilliant blue, gray and green.
Wine tasted sweeter, coffee richer.
Rain, beach and the forest smelled fresher.

Hangin' with my kids. 
The sound of Sam's trumpet
giving me goosebumps or
hearing that 'crack' of ball meeting bat,
hitting the sweet spot. 
Giggling sleepovers in Seattle with Kandace. 
Just enjoying their smiles and our conversations.
Oh wait, there's more.
Painting.  Yoga.  Running.  Dancing. 
Traveling.  Hiking.  Knitting.

How was I going to 'enjoy' this new found joy?
How was I going to include so much more, um, life?
How was I going to mix calm and excitement?

In the beginning, it really was quite overwhelming.

Whew, I was at least headed in the right direction.
Defining what brings one joy is the first step. 
But, how was I going to make time for
that which brought me pure joy?

Ahhh, what or who was taking advantage
of my energy and not adding value to my life?

But wait, this would be walking a fine line
between being Selfless and SELFISH.
Is that allowed?

Then I thought of those air masks
falling from the ceiling of an airplane.
The flight attendant advising:
"please secure your mask,
before helping those around you".

Yes, it was time I started taking care of me. 
My body was clearly giving me signs.
My life was out of balance.

BC (before cancer),
I was on the brink of job burnout. 
Every volunteer position had
my name written all over it.

Time to change careers.
Learn to say no, politely. 
And time to prune toxic relationships. 

The result? 
AC (after cancer)
there's a whole lotta happy life going on!

I still get 'off-track' or unbalanced.
But instead of letting
years of energy be zapped,
almost immediately I 'right' myself.

So, what brings you joy?
How can you add just a
sprinkle of it to your life today?

Or, how 'bout
we spend the rest of our life, getting it right?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Here's Permission: Smile.

What are you waiting for?
To live?  To enjoy? 
To love?  To be happy?

Some wait their entire life for 'someone' to
give them permission to start living.
Okay, so here's the thing ...
only permission needed to enjoy a happy life,
comes from you!

Today, we're going to start small.
The smile.
Simple.  Easy.  Free.
In an instant you will bring unexpected joy
to those in your world,
or even a complete stranger (imagine that!). 

By turning the corners of your mouth upward,
you will instantly lower your blood pressure,
boost your immune system,
and release endorphins and natural pain killers.

Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh,
master of the inner smile says,
"A kind look and a warm smile on your face,
give up frowning,
and be a friend to the whole world."

Never underestimate the power of your actions.
Even in this smallest of gestures,
your smile says to the recipient,
"We may not know each other.
I may never see you again. 
But our paths have crossed today
and we share this world.  I wish you well."

In a world where languages, religion,
and different lifestyles can separate us,
just the flash of a smile could connect lifes.

Sometimes I wonder if I smile too much?
Nahh, the crinkles and lines
on my face have been earned
from a lifetime of smiling.

Try it.  Right now.
Is that YOU smiling?
Go ahead.  You have my permission. 
How many smiles will you share today?